Economy

Court declares directive barring Covid-19 certificates still in force

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Summary

  • Justice Anthony Mrima clarified that the order, which he issued in December, remains in force pending the determination of a case filed by Mr Enock Aura.
  • Mr Aura had complained that some malls and eateries were enforcing the directive against the court order.
  • His lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui cited some malls, saying they were undermining the court order, by insisting on the Covid-19 vaccination certificate, before getting access.

The High Court Tuesday declared that orders barring the government from requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination before accessing in-person services were still in force, pending the determination of a case filed by a Nairobi resident.

Justice Anthony Mrima clarified that the order, which he issued in December, remains in force pending the determination of a case filed by Mr Enock Aura.

Mr Aura had complained that some malls and eateries were enforcing the directive against the court order.

His lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui cited some malls, saying they were undermining the court order, by insisting on the Covid-19 vaccination certificate, before getting access.

The judge, however, declined to give any directive saying the malls and hotels cited were not parties in the case.

The court suspended the government’s directive amid an increase in coronavirus infections rate for the first time since the government lifted the nationwide curfew on October 20.

Health Cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe had said everyone seeking government in-person services must be fully vaccinated to keep infection rates lower and avoid lockdowns, which triggered layoffs and contraction of the economy last year.

In a directive that was to come in force on December 21, the non-vaccinated were to be barred from making critical transactions such as registration of land titles, approval of development plans, transfer and licensing of motor vehicles and registration of business names and companies.

“Everybody seeking in-person government services should be fully vaccinated and have proof of vaccination by December 21, 2021,” Mr Kagwe said.

“Such services will include but not limited to KRA services, education, immigration services, hospital and prison visitation NTSA and port services among others,” he said.

Mr Aura challenged the directive arguing that it was wrong for the government to demand proof of vaccination, for one to get services. He said the directive negatively implicates and violates the guaranteed cross-section of the fundamental rights and freedoms of Kenyans.